Maternity Monday: Pinstripe Maternity Suit

We’ve talked about how it’s hard to find stylish maternity suits — and what we’ve worn instead — but this maternity suit looks nice! The vertical stripes are flattering, and I’d wear the pieces together and separately. I think this would be a good look for casual day as well as a big day at work, assuming ankle pants are OK at your office. The blazer is $99 (was $158) and the pants are $59 (originally $98), available in sizes XS-L. Destination Maternity is having an extra-50%-off sale right now, so the total comes down to about $79 for the whole suit (no code needed). Pinstripe Maternity Suit

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Comments

  1. Anonanonanon says:

    The pants are cute! I still don’t get the need to have maternity blazers, I’ve yet to see a flattering one. Seems like going up in size on a regular blazer would work better. I think people will understand why it doesn’t button…

    • A few people on here commented that the maternity blazers are just cut better for a bump, which I believe. I really think it depends on how you carry. I think (hope?) I still look fine in my normal blazers, but I am carrying rather narrow and high and basketball-esque. As weird/impossible as it sounds I could probably still button at least one button on some of my blazers, so I think there is enough material to make it look ‘correct’ – not like I’m wearing something from the juniors’ section.

      • I slightly regret not buying some sort of maternity outwerwear after having to do a news interview in my jean jacket….they needed a collar to clip the mic and hide the cable.

  2. bluefield says:

    Anyone have any recommendations for a maternity pillow that is J-shaped? (as opposed to C-shaped, like the snoogle is)

    • OCAssociate says:

      I used the Leachco Preggle – it has a velco adjustment band so you can move the bend tighter or looser.

    • When I was looking for a J, I wasn’t having much luck. Your best bet is probably a regular pillow plus a body pillow (more of an L).

      FWIW, I thought I wanted J shape, but at 31 weeks I am now so happy I went with the snoogle. My husband says I would go “I hate this pillow, it’s so firm under my neck, I just hate..zzzzzzzzzzzzz”. I find it’s really more of a J with a neck pillow than a C. And now that I’m used to it, I take it everywhere when we travel (although have not yet had to face the “is it ridiculous to fly with this” question).

  3. Blueberry says:

    This is timely! I just received word that I’ve been offered an interview that will happen when I am 4+ months pregnant. I am sort of able to conceal it now if I want but will not be by the time the interview rolls around in a few weeks. In any case, there is no question of fitting into my current suits. On occasions that have required a suit in the past, I have just worn an unbuttoned blazer over my regular maternity workwear. Do I need to bite the bullet and buy a maternity suit?

    Also, I’m sort of freaking out about having an interview while 4 months pregnant. If I get the job, it would mean leaving biglaw, with its plum maternity benefits. However, it is an opportunity I’m very excited about, and while I like my work at the law firm, the hours and unpredictability are a burden on my family and the idea of keeping this up with three kids is somewhat terrifying. More specific freaking out to come as I process this, I’m sure, so stay tuned…

    • Lyssa says:

      Congrats and good luck! Regarding the suit, everyone gains the weight differently, but I’d be surprised if you couldn’t fit into a suit at all at 4 months. You’ll need a belly band, certainly, but I was still wearing most of my old clothes with some modifications at that point in both pregnancies. (I was surprised that most of my sheath-type dresses still fit well past the point I was obviously showing. They had more room than I thought!)

      • Blueberry says:

        Ooh good call about the belly band. I never bought one before but that makes a lot more sense than buying a suit for one interview. I will try on a suiting sheath dress too; there’s a chance it will fit. Since this is the third pregnancy, I find that I’m getting pretty big pretty early, even though my weight gain seems normal, sigh.

        • Agreed, I think you could probably do regular suit + belly band + one of those stretchy maternity tanks (rather than a shell, which might not cover the bump + band) and your regular blazer unbuttoned.

          I was surprised/pleased that the maternity tanks I got are very high necklines and pass as a shell with a blazer. I just got the 2/$25 (or whatever deal it currently is) from the back of a Motherhood Maternity store. The super long length + stretchyness makes me feel like they’re holding everything together/keeping things covered, especially when I wear a belly band.

          • Blueberry says:

            Awesome, thanks! Will look into those. Now that I’m getting back into maternity clothes, I feel like I must have looked like a slob during my previous pregnancies — everything feels so unfashionable, frumpy and made from polyester. I guess it’s because I started out this journey as a broke law student and was too cheap to buy new stuff thereafter, and now I’m definitely on my last one and at this stage it feels silly to buy new clothes if they worked the last couple times… But I can probably spring for a belly band and a new tank top :)

        • I’m always surprised that women go through pregnancies without a belly band. (I used the Target version, which was about $16 IIRC.) I probably wore mine almost daily through most of my second tri for both pregnancies. Since I only ever bothered to buy one, it’s probably among the best cost per wear items I’ve ever owned.

          • Probably depends on how you carry, but I thought the belly band was not terribly comfortable after the first trimester and I preferred to be in full panel maternity pants by that point. I am carrying super low though, so anything extra/rubbing down around my hips was really irritating. I have a super short torso too, so I popped out very, very quickly.

    • Cornellian says:

      Congrats! I am not sure the best way to find this out, but I would not be certain that maternity benefits kick in 100% at day one of employment. I know for staff, at least, they don’t at several BigLaw firms. If i were you I’d want to find out how much it would cover (especially if, god forbid, you went in to labor early when you had only been there a couple months), and see if you could negotiate more (if needed).

      If you’re in NYC BigLaw, I’d say you have to bite the bullet and buy a suit. I’m not sure about other markets.

      • Blueberry says:

        Thanks! It seems there’s not much to learn before the interview from publicly available information, but I believe they are known for having pretty good benefits. I’ll definitely get all the details from HR if I get the job. I am also concerned about starting a job while pregnant and then going on leave before I’ve had a good chance to prove myself and/or giving people a reason to dislike me for taking off so soon after starting. I posted about this in a response on the main board not too long ago, and people pretty universally dismissed this concern, so maybe I’m more worried than I should be.

        • I understand why people dismissed your concern but I’m just chiming in to say it’s totally valid. Not that it’s a reason to turn down a job, but be cognizant hay you may have to work harder to prove yourself. Signed, someone in that boat and hating it.

          • Blueberry says:

            Thanks for this. I’m trying not to put the cart before the horse, but I am trying to balance “I deserve this job, and they’ll be lucky to have me” with “this is going to be a tricky situation to navigate, even if all goes according to plan.”

        • I did it. It can be done, though I did work pretty darn hard after baby came. I have a friend who did I did it, I know many who’ve done it. You can do it! Just have to work smarter, not harder.

    • I interviewed while pregnant and wore a black maternity dress with a regular suit blazer over it. The blazer had a subtle pinstripe, so the failure to match looked intentional (my plain black blazers didn’t quite match the dress, and I felt like that was worse). My first round was fairly early, where I was showing a bit but it was still questionable whether it was a pregnancy or just some extra weight. I’m pretty sure I wore the same exact thing to the final round, but I belted the dress above my bump because at that point I was definitely showing and felt like it looked a little better. It wasn’t as polished as I’d typically want to be for an interview, but it worked. Good luck!!

      • AwayEmily says:

        Somewhat related: I did a couple of speaking events when I was in that awkward in-between stage and found that adding a skinny belt above the bump helped take it over the edge from “is she pregnant?” to “she’s definitely pregnant.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats on 2 fronts! I interviewed for my current job while 4 months pregnant and no one knew. The beautiful thing about interviewing is that no one knows what you looked like before (unless of course you have met them before) so they might just think you carry more weight around your mid section. I doubt you’re so obvious that someone would ask in any case. Just bring lots of snacks in case you get hungry. Oh, and I bought a suit in a size up to interview, but that was back when cheaper suiting from the Limited was an option. The suggestions above re: a black dress with a blazer are good.

  4. PinkKeyboard says:

    Baby #1 would have arrived yesterday, baby #2 is still firmly in place. I am at work, grumpy, and baby #1 is officially my favorite child!

  5. Pogo - paging Cb says:

    I made an anon account if you want to email me about your anesthesiologist – I have mine this afternoon!

    it’s pogo.r3tte at the gmailz (where the 3 is a e).

  6. We are moving within the next month or so and I am trying to Marie Kondo my life as much as possible beforehand. I have a whole bag of bras that I haven’t worn in almost as year as I’m still nursing. My band size stayed the same but I went up two cup sizes. Do I just toss them, assuming I won’t be the same size when I’m done nursing? I have no idea what to expect.

    • Blueberry says:

      You may well be the same size. I think I was, at least after the first baby. It’s so hard to predict. I’d keep them if they are in good shape.

    • Keep them; you never know and bras are expensive. FWIW, when I was about 6 months post nursing, I was back to my pre pregnancy size. I’m sure everyone is different, but unless you just don’t like the bras and would want new ones anyways, I’d keep them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I vote keep until six months post nursing as it can take a while for your body to adjust. But – toss any that are worn/stained/frayed.

      • Cornellian says:

        Yeah, keep the best ones and take the opportunity to throw out worn ones. You’re supposed to replace them super often anyway. I am using it as an excuse to throw out b-s from college. I am not parting with grad school ones yet, though…

    • I’d keep the 2-3 best ones and pitch the rest. Your size may fluctuate a bit before settling, so it would be nice to not have to buy a whole new set, but 2-3 will give you some time to let it settle and make sure it’s not changing. (I think I’m not the norm, but I bfed for over a year. It took 3 months after weaning for my boobs to finally settle – over the course of pregnancy and nursing, I wore 3 different band sizes and 4-5 different cup sizes. I settled at one band size and one cup size larger than pre-preg.)

    • CPA Lady says:

      I was the same size pre and post and I went up A LOT of cup sizes when I was nursing. I did end up replacing all of my bras afterwards though, but that was because what I had was stretched out and old. Wearing an old stretched out bra was okay on my pre-pregnancy chest, but just tragic post nursing.

      It was actually one of the best things I’ve done for myself– I got rid of every single old bra and pair of underpants I had and replaced every last one with great stuff from Soma. It was magical. Three solid colors, and now I always match. You’re all welcome for the overshare.

      • This is my plan! My undies are so shabby and the extra pack I bought are terrible (have been washed multiple times and are still shedding fluff) so I’m planning on a whole overhaul once things are back to normal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you planning for more kids? Do you have the space to keep them? If yes to both, I’d keep them. if you don’t go back to pre preg size with this kid, you could well with the next.

    • POSITA says:

      I’m in the middle of a slow weaning process and it’s really nice to have a bunch of old bra options. My size and shape is changing really rapidly so I don’t want to spend money on new bras yet. I’ve been pulling old options out of my drawer and so grateful that I still have them. I wouldn’t throw anything out until you’re done nursing. Even something old is better than nothing. Not to mention that I always seem to change size on a day with an important meeting and no time to shop.

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually went down a size (!!!) but I’m glad I kept the best of the pre-pregnancy ones because I wore them for a while after weaning while things settled down and before I bought new ones. I vote keep the ones in the best condition.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, I lost a couple of cup sizes post-nursing, too :(

        But currently preg with #2 and happy I have some in-between bras!

    • ElisaR says:

      i wouldn’t toss them – after I stopped b-feeding I went back to my original size

    • Good call! I am going to save the few nicest ones and get rid of the rest. There are definitely some that have seen better days and it’s a nice excuse to upgrade. But it would also be nice to not spend $200 on bras all at once, too.

      I was inspired by someone on here saying they upgraded their underwear wardrobe, and I’ve been tossing anything that looks worn, figuring the move is a great excuse to upgrade and feel a little more classy.

  7. Magic tracks says:

    This is a shot in the dark: my kids got the Magic Tracks racetrack for Christmas. The cars have broken. I want to just buy replacement cars, but it doesn’t seem like they’re available. Does anyone know if other car toys are the right size to be compatible with Magic Tracks toys? Or am I stuck buying a whole new set?

  8. dc anon says:

    Grumble – what’s up with Lego sets only coming with male figures?!! The sets with females figures are all pink and set in bakeries. Super annoying, Lego!

    • Anonymous says:

      I still buy my 6 year old duplo because it’s slightly less genderized. Not impressed at all with the Lego pinkwashing.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      As annoying as it would be to retro-fit (rather than just get female figures in the box), would these be a partial fix?

      https://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Minifigure-Minifig-Hair-Pack/dp/B004Y4YNFG

    • Huh, I think some of the ones we have include women – the Volcano starter set does for sure.

    • avocado says:

      This is one reason I like my kid’s excessively large collection of Star Wars Lego kits. She has Rey, General Leia Organa, Mas Kanata, and I think Captain Phasma.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can buy minifigs separately. You can get them on Legos website. There’s a big market on ebay for used ones if you’re after something specific that Lego has retired. And there are a couple of sites online that sell the blind box Collector Series (open obvs.). The nice thing is that the female minifigs are usually cheaper on the secondary market.

      And every now and then some all girl set (like The Research Institute) gets bumped up from Lego Ideas. (I missed that one, it sold out in a couple weeks and I hadn’t checked my Idea account in forever.) (No my kid is not old enough for Legos. This is all me.)

    • Anonymama says:

      Really? I’ve actually been impressed that pretty much all of the Lego sets my kids have gotten include at least one female-looking one (firefighters, mining, deep sea divers, random trucks).

  9. My 2.5 year old daughter started preschool this morning (she was previously in a home daycare). We’ve been talking a lot about it for the past two weeks and reading a book about preschool every night. When we walked in, she marched right up to the first teacher she saw, introduced herself by name, and asked where her cubby was. After being shown to her cubby, she put her stuff in, cheerfully said “bye mom and dad,” and went out to the main room and started to play. Just wanted to share because I’m so happy with how well it went! (I realize a freak-out could be in our near future, once she realizes this is a permanent change, but hopefully not.) Such a great morning!

    I’m also left wishing I had the confidence of my toddler…I hope she never loses it. :)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Aww, how wonderful! My daughter (2) started at a new preschool last week (after ~ 2 years in a large corporate daycare). It has been awesome so far – I’ve been so happy!

    • Momata says:

      That’s fabulous! Thank you for sharing — my kiddos are moving to a new preschool in the fall and I’m inordinately anxious for them.

    • Awesome! Could you (and anyone else) tell us the preschool books you guys read? My change-adverse 4 year old will be starting soon, and he sounds a little nervous.

      • We got a book called Rosie Goes to Preschool. Might be a little young for a four year old, but maybe helpful! It walks through the elements of a typical day. I think it really helped my daughter know what to expect.

    • Spirograph says:

      Aw, how great for her, and you!

      In contrast, my son moved up to an older room today and was not pleased. His former teacher is popping in to visit throughout the day, he visibly peeked up when she came in. Bracing for a tough week or two…

      • NewMomAnon says:

        My kiddo had tough transitions between classrooms, but for some reason, completely switching schools was easy. She skipped into the new school and giggled as we walked away, and she hasn’t looked back. I don’t understand, but I am immensely grateful.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Wow, does she want to come give lessons to my Kiddo? Soooo much crying at drop off today — I think she has a bit of a fun-hangover from the weekend, mostly, but eesh it was rough.

  10. What are everyone’s favorite nursing/pumping compatible wrap dresses? My office is casual, so doesn’t need to be DVF-level quality, but nothing very revealing either.

  11. San Antonio? says:

    I am headed to San Antonio late this week with The Hubs and The (Almost 6 and Highly Active) Kid. We plan to spend Saturday at Six Flags (we have free passes because we have season tix to our local one), but need some half day activities for three other days.

    The current list has options of:

    Zoo (with discount prices from our local zoo membership)
    Dooseum
    Sea World (ugh, expensive, especially if we cannot stay all day, but maybe we can do this Saturday and then do a half day at Six Flags a different day)
    Ride on Riverwalk boat
    Hotel pool

    Any other suggestions? Anything off the beaten path that we might all enjoy?

    • Katarina says:

      The Six Flags in San Antonio is pretty lame, the Sea World is much better. I also really like the Botanical Gardens. The Alamo is right by the Riverwalk.

    • mascot says:

      Time at the pool is almost always a top draw for my active kid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are you traveling from? I may be stating the obvious to you but with a forecast of 99 for next Saturday I would not underestimate the impact of heat on your travel. I haven’t been to San Antonio in ages but live in Austin and at this time of year we are limiting our outdoor activities as much as we can to early morning and late evening swimming and splash pad. As to specific recs, some family and coworkers have recently visited and highly recommended the Pearl District. Even if you aren’t staying at the Hotel Emma (I was to go but it’s super expensive) you can hang out in the lobby and visit that area.

      • San Antonio? says:

        Let’s say we are coming from a hot and humid Midwestern city. I am told that San Antonio will be dry heat — is that true? We all tolerate dry better than humid and our hope is to hit all the water rides that we can.

    • JDJDTX says:

      My friends in SA love the DoSeum – it would be a great way to spend a hot afternoon!
      I would second the Pearl District – in my experience it is less crowded than the Riverwalk, and the food quality is much better.

  12. Pumping is the worst says:

    Advice for drying up your milk? I worked like crazy to establish a supply, then my daughter quit nursing at 3 months old when I went back to work and I went to exclusively pumping 75% of her needs. Now she’s 6 months old + 1 week old, and I’m SO OVER IT.The ped assured me that she’d gotten the benefits and that it was OK to stop.

    I am down to 3 pumps per day (AM, 3-4p, before bed) and in the past few days have gotten my output down about 5 oz from the peak. But I get these giant lumps if I go too long without pumping or if I just pump for relief, which is what I’d been trying to do. Then I have to do compressions while pumping to get the lump out, which ends up stimulating more milk production.

    Also, so many questions: how long did the entire process take? How long after stopping did it take you to return to your pre-preg size? And, if you were one of those ppl like me for whom b’feeding makes you hold onto the last 10 pounds instead of shedding it, how long did it take the weight to start coming off?

    Thanks!

    • Pumping is the worst says:

      Also I get plugged ducts super easily, which is why I am hesitant about just relief pumping

    • CPA Lady says:

      A couple things that help are taking decongestants and eating a lot of mint. I ate altoids like crazy.

    • Anonymous says:

      If would give yourself 2- 3 weeks to stop entirely. You don’t want engorgement or mastitis. If you are currently pumping three times a day, keep that up for few more days but cut the length of time you pump.

      1. Pump 15 minutes instead of 20 (3 times/day). After 4 days, drop each session from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. It generally takes 72 hours for your body to adjust to supply changes.

      2. After 4 days at 10 mins 3 times a day, drop the afternoon pump but move the evening pump an hour or so earlier. Pump for 15 minutes 2 times a day.

      3. After 4 days at 15 minutes 2 times a day drop to 10 minutes 2 times a day.

      4. After 4 days at 10 minutes 2 times a day, drop to one pump a day (morning) but pump 15 mins on first couple of days.

      5. Drop to one pump in morning for 10 mins, after a few days, drop to 5 mins or just long enough to relieve discomfort.

      If your body reacts badly at any of these stages, go back to the earlier stage and transition more slowly. You can also take sudafed to help dry up your milk. Takes about six months after being finished nursing for my body to adjust entirely but YMMV.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I agree. I stopped pumping at 12 months and started by eliminating pumping sessions, but I think my supply had already started to dwindle at that point so it wasn’t terrible. But at 6 months, I think I would have started by reducing the duration of my pumping sessions, not the frequency.

      • Pumping is the worst says:

        This is exactly what I was looking for–thank you SO much

        • Anonymous says:

          Glad it helps. I re-read and instead of what I have above for #4 I would actually pump 10 mins in the morning and then 5 mins (to relieve fullness) in evening for a couple days then drop the evening pump. Huge pain to set up just to pump 5 mins but I’m thinking 15 mins in morning could up production. You’ll have to play around with the schedule a bit depending on how your body reacts.

    • It took me about two weeks to be honest and it was not comfortable bordering on painful. Wear two sports bras if possible (I dressed as casually as I could for work). Take a painkiller of your choice every morning and have extras in your bag. As for the drop-one-feeding-a-day theory, this did not work for me at all. It just seemed to drag it out. If I had to do it all over, I’d go cold turkey.

    • I second the decongestants (sudafed!), mint, and sage (eg. sage brown butter sauce for gnocchi, butternut squash soup with sage…in my defense it was midwinter). In combination they worked very well for me. I stopped at 20 months and was fully deflated within two weeks, but I can’t speak to how long the process would take 6 months pp!

    • I went from EPing (5 pumps/day) to zero in about five weeks. I dropped a pump a week. I had to adjust the times of the other pumps– so if I wanted to drop 3 pm a d had been pumping noon, 3, 7, I would first push that noon to 1 or 1:30 (if I could), skip the 3, and get as close to 7 as I could but probably more like 5:30. I did get lumps/clogged ducts for a few days after each dropped pump. I also took Sudafed which was supposed to help dry up production, and eventually cut down on duration of each pump as well.

    • Running Numbers says:

      You received a lot of great responses on actually discontinuing pumping so I have nothing to add there! Reducing time and sessions slowly is the way to go.

      I held on to 20 extra pounds after my son was born and didn’t them until several months after I was done pumping when I started running again. Nursing/pumping wasn’t the magic bullet for me to lose weight and neither was stopping. YMMV. For me it was correcting my exercise and eating habits.

      I stopped around 4-6 months and the biggest impact for me was hormones. I did not expect the major hormone crash that I experience. It wasn’t PPD level but it was a hard time. Just something to be cognizant of if you find yourself struggling mentally in the coming weeks.

    • Ashley says:

      I don’t think anyone mentioned cabbage yet. Put chilled cabbage leaves in your bra if you are trying to dry up the milk. It’s supposed to do something to get rid of the milk (no idea if this is a wives tale, but it seemed to help me), plus it is absolutely wonderful for any pain you might have. I had clogged ducts, too, and even when I was nursing I would sometimes use a small cabbage leaf to help clear one when nothing else (i.e., hours of hot showers, compression pumping, turning baby all directions, etc.) did not work.

  13. Anon For This says:

    My 42 year old older sister “Becky” didn’t bother to tell our parents that her oldest son (age 24, married) is expecting a baby. Her daughter-in-law posted a cute pregnancy announcement on Facebook, which our extended family commented on. Our mother isn’t on Facebook and often gets angry when she finds out about family news 3rd hand from a Facebook user.

    After I saw the post, I called my Dad and asked if he had talked to Becky. He said, “Not recently,” so I told him to call her because she had news for them. Dad called, Becky filled him in and made up excuses about her busy life, and then Dad passed all this on to Mom pretending like Becky called him first. It’s just easier that way. No one wants to deal with Mom screaming and yelling about being the last to know.

    Becky and I have zero relationship–there hasn’t been a fight, but we don’t reach out and talk to each other either. We’re complete opposites. She got married and had children at 19, I went to school and started my family later. We live far apart and I haven’t spoken to her in 4 years. She also doesn’t have the best relationship with our parents, keeping them at arms’ length until she needs something from them.

    I’m annoyed Becky didn’t bother to call our parents, but on the other hand, she’s stepping into the grandparent role. Does it matter when the *great* grandparents find out? It’s not even about them anymore, is it? I’m also annoyed at my parents, because if you want to be in the loop GET ON FACEBOOK.

    And I really don’t want to be a Great Aunt at 36 with two elementary aged kids. Yet again, Becky and I have nothing in common except our parents.

    • Anon For This says:

      I know I’m rambling. I’m just thrown over this for some reason. My sister is going to be a grandma, my parents are aging, and I know–I JUST KNOW–that Becky isn’t going to help me take care of Mom and Dad when the time comes.

      I guess I’m just feeling time going by.

    • 1) Let your parents and sister manage their own relationship. You don’t need to be in the middle. That extends to the complaining – if your mom starts in, you say “Mom, I am not Becky. If you need to complain about this, please do it to someone who is not me.” Repeat ad nauseum.

      2) If you think you might have to take care of your parents later on, then start having conversations with them now about what you are willing to do. You cannot do everything by yourself, nor should you try to. Be clear – I have my own kids to care for, I will only be able to do 5 hours a week, and it won’t be every single day. When you get the point you need more help than that, or need daily assistance, you will need to have a plan that is NOT ME. I can help you develop that plan now, or I will just pick it by myself at that point. I’m going to bring this up again in one month, so I’ll need to know your choice by then.

      3) Sounds like you’ve been living in Becky’s shadow your whole life, likely with some Mom manipulation thrown in. Again, separate yourself from who they are and their role in the family, and focus on who YOU are. You have quite a bit to overcome, so work on not replicating those dynamics with your own nuclear family. Utilize therapy if you have to. But you don’t want your children competing against each other and/or walking on eggshells around you – start changing your behavior now to avoid that.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        This is all excellent advice and a good script. Honestly, I think you really overstepped a boundary. If her son wanted his grandparents to know he was expecting, he would have told them himself. That’s very personal news to share on behalf of someone else, especially someone else you don’t really have a relationship with. I’m sure you were trying to avoid hearing from your mom about how upset she was, but I think you’d be better off using the script above to redirect those upset feelings your mom has rather than risking stirring up controversy by sharing someone else’s life updates. If your mom gets this upset about things, maybe Becky and her family have their own reasons to keeping your parents at arm’s length.
        Re: “it’s not about them anymore, is it?” It never was. It’s not about anyone but the expectant parents unless they choose to make it otherwise. It wasn’t Becky’s role to tell her parents if her son didn’t want her to/ask her to.

        • Srsly? says:

          Dude. She posted it on Facebook. You can’t “overstep” by sharing news that is on freaking Facebook.

        • Agree you can’t overstep by sharing news on FB. But the point here is that she saw happy news for an extended family member, and her first thought was “Oooh boy Mom is going to lose her mind over this.” That’s dysfunctional with a capital D. Then her second thought was, “I better manage this myself so I don’t have to listen to Mom lose her mind.” That’s even MORE dysfunctional.

          OP – You need to figure out how to get yourself out of this cycle of thought. You allude to having kids – this cannot be the behavior they think is normal. Get thee to someone who can help you work through this and reframe the way you process news.

          • Anon For This says:

            Those weren’t my thoughts.

            I felt happy for my nephew, noticed the announcement was cute and liked it, noticed several cousins liked the post, then wondered if my parents knew. It’s a big leap from there to your post.

            It’s also a big leap to assume that I’m repeating some dysfunctional family pattern with my children–and frankly, it’s insulting.

      • Anon For This says:

        Thanks, everyone, for replying.

        This is, like anon said, Becky being Becky and Mom being Mom. Becky either deliberately or thoughtlessly (to Mom, it’s always deliberately) neglected to tell our parents before the news hit Facebook. It’s a battle that I saw on the horizon, and Me being Me, tried to defuse.

        Nephew could have told. Becky could have told. Like anonanonanon pointed out, if Becky keeps our parents at arm’s length she must have her own reasons. I should have stayed out of it, but I wanted to spare our parents’ the hurt and upset. (Although, honestly, I think my parents thrive on the drama. They would have risen up in outrage and nursed the hurt for the next two years, and I absolutely don’t want to deal with it!)

        It’s all exhausting to me, and it’s made me realize that I haven’t distanced myself enough. I already told my parents that I don’t have a relationship with Becky and I’m not interested in hearing all the juicy tidbits and updates on Becky’s life–and I don’t want to listen to them critique or comment on her. It put a stop to the Becky Talk dominating their visits, but I’m still “spying” on the fringe by seeing her status updates. That’s not cool.

        I keep Facebook open as a line of communication, in case any of them ever want or need to reach out to me. But I’m going to unfollow all of them and take another step away from the dysfunction of Becky’s on-again-off-again relationship with our parents.

        • bluefield says:

          Two things jumped out at me:

          1. You felt the need to defuse the situation. I go through the same thing and I repeat to myself, often, that I am not the guarantor of anyone’s happiness or comfort. If someone says something weird or cringe-worthy or upsetting, it’s not my problem and it’s not my responsibility to pre-empt that. You don’t have to defuse any situation – your parents and your sister are all adults and can negotiate their own relationships.

          2. You are upset about being a great-aunt with two school aged children, but your estranged nephew’s child is not about you. Even if you have a close, loving relationship with him, his decision to have children is not about you. And from your story it sounds like you have no relationship with him, so his children don’t just theoretically have nothing to do with you, they actually have nothing to do with you.

          I encourage you to unfollow Becky on Facebook. If she has news she wants you to know, she will tell you.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Not your monkey not your circus.

      You aren’t close and made different life choices and -assuming she isn’t sponging off some vulnerable person or abusing government assistance- neither one is better than the other. Nothing wrong with getting married and having kids at 19.

      I pass along facebook updates from family (cousin is pregnant) to my parents all the time, because I know their reaction will be happy and appropriate (i.e. will call up their sib and congratulate on the upcoming grandkid). If you know your parents won’t react that way, all the more reason to step back and not get involved in anyway.

  14. My read is that Becky is being Becky. I don’t blame you at all for being annoyed with her, as that’s major news to find out via the Facebooks, but it doesn’t sound at all out of character. I would drop it and carry on like nothing happened. This is your parents’ problem to deal with, not yours.

  15. CPA Lady says:

    Sort of related to the post by Anon for This… but… do any of you all of a sudden notice your parents aging? And freak out about it?

    I’m in my early/mid 30s. My parents are in their early 70s. Dad is out of the picture. My mom came and visited me in February and had a bit of a health crisis. I had to go home from work and call an ambulance for her because she was so dizzy she couldn’t walk and was throwing up uncontrollably. Turns out she was having her first ever attack of vertigo. Since then she’s just seemed… older. My oldest (favorite) aunt is close to 80 and just had heart surgery and isn’t doing well. I just sort of thought I’d have longer before this all started happening. Sigh.

    • Yes. It is really starting to dawn on me that my parents are getting truly old (mid-70s). I don’t think I could admit this anywhere else but I noticed recently that my mom actually smells old now. It just hit me recently when she was helping me care for my new baby.

      • My god yes! My mom is only 59 but she smells old. I actually asked my sister how/if we should say something. Mom is overweight, but not to the extend that it should be a contributing factor in body odor. I think she might have stopped daily showers?

        In any case, my sister’s reaction was “I’m not touching that one with a 10 foot pole,” and she’s right but…mom is only 59!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My dad was older when I was born, and I was in my 30’s when kiddo was born, and sometimes I see him getting this far away look when we talk about kiddo’s adult milestones. Like…he probably won’t be there at her wedding (if she has one, of course), and we’d be really lucky if he is both alive and healthy enough to attend her college graduation (he would be late-80’s). He has a couple of health conditions that are slowing him down a little bit, and he’s made some comments that kiddo came along at just the right time so he has someone he can keep up with for a while.

      It makes me sad to think about all that, but it also makes me want to seize every moment kiddo has with him. I want to make sure she knows how much he loves her, and that he knows how much she looks up to him. I find myself taking so many pictures and videos of them together.

      I also have this sudden understanding – my mom always talked about her parents like she hated them, but then she was devastated after they died. I was so confused; it was almost a relief to me when they died because then she could stop feeling tortured by them. It makes me want to show kiddo that I treasure my parents even if they weren’t perfect humans or great parents.

      • I love your last point. I have siblings that don’t model that for their kids and it makes me terribly sad.

      • ElisaR says:

        i feel the same way newmomanon – it is always hanging over my head but it’s just what we have to deal with.

        a couple days ago there was a comment thread that really bothered me – it was a conversation about what age to have kids. several people on this site wrote things like “have them young because you don’t want to be an old mom! you want to travel in your 50s and 60s so don’t wait! procreate now even if you’re not ready!”

        maybe i’m oversensitive (i know i probably am) but as an older mother those comments stung. true, my parents won’t likely be at my children’s weddings …. but it’s just something we have to deal with and maybe we didn’t choose for things to go that way but here we are.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if a g mail account can forward emails to two separate addresses automatically? Thinking about setting up a [email protected] g mail account for school/daycare notifications. Tried of asking everyone to send messages to both parents and still getting them sent just to me.

    • I don’t know the answer to your question, but we have a FamilyLastName g mail account for school, kids’ appointments and activities, bills and bank information. Instead of forwarding it to our email addresses, we set it up so we both have access/get pushes from that account to our phones and computers.

    • Momata says:

      You can absolutely set up a rule to do this. Instead of setting up a new gmail account (that you and other parent would then have to check), just have a rule in your gmail account that forwards emails from the daycare’s email address to the other parent, and vice versa.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, you can. We have an account that auto-forwards to both my and my husband’s personal email addresses, and use it for various things we both need equal access to. It’s super easy. Go to Settings, and then there’s a “Forwarding / POP / IMAP” category on the top.

      Side note on security: it’s a good idea to check this occasionally in your own accounts, just to make sure no one has messed with your account to auto-forward somewhere you’re not aware of.

    • EB0220 says:

      Yep, you can definitely do this. We have a joint account that we should use more but don’t yet. For the most part, I use my email on kid stuff and auto-forward kid things to my husband’s gmail. Should switch to the common email address, though.

  17. SoAnonForThis says:

    Here’s one I can’t stick on Facebook…I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that I have a non-gender conforming son. Since he’s been a young 2, at every opportunity, he has rejected what is traditionally associated with boys. Last night, I happened across a blog written by a women who has a child who is now 24, and who has written extensively about the individual’s childhood as a non-gender conforming boy. I found myself nodding along with every. single. post (questioning when he’s going to turn into a girl around 2; wanting to be a disney princess every year for Halloween; wanting every toy, clothing item, or decor to have rainbows, unicorns, the sparkles, etc.; wearing long Tshirts – only to find out he’s doing it because it feels like a skirt to him). Here’s the thing – that individual is now a drag queen performing in NYC. And if that’s what makes that person happy, good for them. But I’m realizing it’s made me so unbearably sad — I don’t want that life for my child. It doesn’t feel so different than becoming an exotic dancer, I guess.

    Of course I logically understand that my child’s path will not be the same as this person’s, but I have worried a lot about what a future for my child might look like. I also understand that you can’t pick your child’s path, under any conditions, but I feel like life is especially cruel for non-gender conforming kids. I think I feel a little heartbroken because this mom was supportive and encouraging of her child’s preferences as she raised him, and I can feel myself thinking with sadness and obviously judgment “and s/he still became a drag queen!!” My husband and I have taken the approach of accepting what our son does, but taking it one step at a time. I think I’ve been hoping that love, acceptance, and support would make life easier, but I guess life as a person who doesn’t feel like they were born into the correct body is just going to be hard no matter what.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look and see if there is a therapist near you who specializes in these issues and can help you process what you are feeling. I think that even if you support and accept your child, it’s normal to grieve the loss of all of these ideas that you had about how their life might go. Hugs to you.

    • I can’t imagine all the different feelings you have, but my takeaway from this is that you are a loving parent, and your child is very lucky to have you. If your child is transgender, there is a lot of hope that his life, while it may still be more challenging than a typical child’s, will be easier than it would have been to be born when we were. We have a transgender physician general in our state (PA). People are more aware of what it means to be transgender. Your child has the best chance of just about any child born before now to have a full and accepted life. I hope that is your child’s reality. Hugs to you.

    • First, big hugs. This is so hard. And your kid is so lucky to have parents who love, accept, and support him.

      As a counterpoint for that looking-to-the-future stuff that’s unavoidable: My husband is a transgender man (female to male) who transitioned in his 20s. (yes, I know that it’s different for men and women, but hear me out). He wears polo shirts and khakis, makes dad jokes, and runs a nonprofit. We have a baby. Half our friends are trans or gender nonconforming, both men and women. Most are just living their lives in a way that would be totally uninteresting fodder for a blog post. Some are doing incredibly interesting things that are changing the world and that grew out of their struggles with gender identity. One of our friends does drag, but it’s a side gig he does like once a month–the rest of the time he’s in a management position at highly-regarded local organization.

      Also, there are SO many resources out there, both for you and for him. Please email me–josiepyeavonlea at the g m a i l

      • Anonymous says:

        And this is why I love this blog :)

        • Spirograph says:

          +1!

          OP, you and your husband sound like loving, accepting parents and I’m glad your child will have you on their side, whatever lies ahead.

      • SoAnonForThis says:

        These responses are all bringing tears to my eyes. Yes, I am definitely mourning the loss of what I thought the future might look like for my child, and the added hardships his life may have. I’m also mourning that his (and by extension, our) relationship with one side of the family will likely be severed or at least significantly restricted. I am appalled at how much hate exists, and that this has exposed, especially in our family and from friends where I grew up. It restores some hope in my I am rejoicing for where and when my child was born, and that my husband and I are (mostly) on the same page about how to raise him. I’d probably prefer to reach out to the community proactively a bit more, my husband thinks we just sort of follow his lead, and we usually end up somewhere in the middle.

        JP, especially, thank you for your response. I’m so glad for your family. I will reach out to you, but I’m curious if you’d be willing to post about when your husband knew he wanted to transition. And, if he had familial support as a child? If not, as it’s his story to tell, and maybe he doesn’t want it shared here, I completely respect that, but if so, I’d be grateful to read.

        • Absolutely. He said he was a boy from the time he was 4-5 years old. Cut off the hair from all his dolls and gave them all boy names. There were no words for it in the late 80s. When he was 7 he begged his parents to get him a “boy” haircut, and in pictures from ages 7-11, he really looks like a boy. He says that he was so insistent about it that it was easier for his parents to just give in and let him wear his brother’s hand-me-down Bugle Boy clothes. But he was such an anxious, tightly-wound kid, because even with the haircut and clothes, he still had his girl name and identity and, again, no words for how he felt and no internet for him or his parents to google “my daughter wants to be a boy.” When biology became inevitable, he grew his hair and went from anxious to depressed. He thought he was a lesbian for a long time and then, in his twenties, was in therapy because he was still so depressed and that was when he figured it out. He is super close with his parents, always has been. They feel awful that they didn’t pick up on it sooner, but they would have had no way to know and nothing to do about it even if they did.

          We met post-transition (on ok cupid) and I knew he was trans from the start, and I didn’t care.

          Please email me when you feel ready–sending you a big internet hug in the meantime

          • SoAnonForThis says:

            That’s so very helpful!!! Thank you. It also gets to the heart of what I worry about with our curent (and my husband’s preferred) approach. My husband wants him to take the lead, but I worry that he won’t really have the words to get out in front of what he’s feeling/thinking. The same with his dolls/lovies – every single one is a girl, and has always been a girl. If I ask him point blank whether he thinks of himself as a boy or a girl, he usually answers some variant of “I am a boy, but I like things girls like.” Which leads to a discussion of how his dad/I do not think anything is “boy or girl” and girls or boys can wear/do anything, but that not everyone thinks that (usually, also the words we give him to respond to kids who laugh at his outfits – “We think boys can wear whatever they want.” or “I’m a boy who loves dresses, and that’s fine!” Or whatever). But I’m worried we are missing the heart of the issue, which is that he wants to be a girl, but doesn’t fully understand that it’s a possibility to become one? Again, my husband’s preference here is to wait and let him take the lead; I’m worried he won’t get there on his own. I also am anon enough right now to admit that there is some fear on our parts in this approach. I’ve read that a lot of kids who experience this turn into cisgender gay adults, and as much as i hate to admit it, I think it would be an easier path for him. It gives me a l ot of hope to read about the various trans folks out there who have found stability, happy families, and peace.

            I’ve heard this is especially tough around puberty, which sounds like is what your husband experienced — like your body is really going full speed the wrong direction.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          If that one side of the family will really reject your child for their gender identity… how very sad. No matter what the outcome of this gender questioning, please make sure you build your kid up to know that that sort of rejection stems entirely from issues that side of the family has — nothing your kid has done wrong.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Yes to this! I have been surprised several times by people living completely ordinary lives who have transitioned. You probably aren’t going to hear from their parents, or maybe even from them, because that’s how they want to live – noticed for what they do as people in their everyday lives, not for just one aspect of themselves that might be only medically relevant at this point.

        And people who are drawn to perform as drag queens are probably just…drawn to perform, and seeking a welcoming audience? I have a couple friends who are gender conforming except for the couple times a month they perform drag. The audience at drag shows self-selects, so they tend to be welcoming and enthusiastic.

    • Anonnon says:

      Hugs to you. Have you read the book Becoming Nicole (or the shorter article in the Boston Globe, “Led by the child who simply knew”)? It is a wonderful book/article — you may already know a lot more about the issue than I do, but it really opened my eyes, in a good way.

    • Regular Poster, Anon for this says:

      I think part of having kids is trying to not let our relationship be governed by fear. Easier said than done. But if you are proud and happy and he (maybe someday she) is proud and happy, it doesn’t matter what job she’ll one day have, does it? We can all grieve the sort of life we thought we (or our children) would have but didn’t, and still work towards embracing whatever does happen. I think it’s normal to be a little sad and a little scared. Just don’t stay there too long.

      Also, where do you live? My (white) sister married a guy whose grandparents all immigrated from China. They live in a large, liberal, immigrant-heavy city on purpose. Her husband had a job offer in Des Moines and a job offer in their current town, and they chose their current town on purpose, because it’s a place where their kids will fit in and be normal. Just something to think about, down the line, if your son does decide to transition. There are places in this country where that decision is supported to a greater degree than other places.

      Also, a classmate of mine wrote this article on the topic and I thought it was wonderful:
      http://www.glamour.com/story/glamour-essay-contest-winner

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude. Have you ever MET a drag queen? Because the ones I have met are the happiest, weirdest, most self actualized people I’ve ever encountered. Most of them are more like cabaret singers or stand up comedians or performance artists than “exotic dancers.” (Also, most of the burlesque dancers [hipster-y artsy NYC stuff not stripper stuff] I’ve met had day jobs like: seamstress, kindergarten teacher, receptionist, librarian and gallery assistant.) Most of them seem to have come to the job because they LOVE it, not because they live in some Boys in the Band dystopia where they can’t get jobs (and false eyelashes come off, unlike tattoos).

      But I also know trans people who are artists, editors, writers, and journalists. (That’s my line of business.) If you get a straight cis gendered kid who wants to perform would you be like, oh sh!t she might become an exotic dancer, or would you be, hey, she could be an opera singer, an actress, a comedian, a musician, a politician, an educator!

      • bluefield says:

        I agree that drag queens are nothing like exotic dancers.

      • +1 – I think of drag as a form of performance art.

        • Also, is Drag Queen Story hour a national thing? It is very popular in NYC – Drag Queens lead storytime at the library to introduce kids to gender nonconformity. Might be a good resource for others. Of course, many people who do drag do not identify as trans.

    • Charlotte says:

      My favorite book that I have read all year is “This is How it Always Is,” by Laurie Frankel. It’s a novel, but the author had a gender non-conforming child of her own so it is drawn from her personal experience, and it was one of the most sensitive, fascinating, astute examinations of the issue that I have ever come across. There are so many wonderful thoughts that it captured for me about parenting in general, and has stayed with me long after I finished it. Highly, highly recommend.

      (Also, think I may know you IRL. If so, feel free to email me if you want to chat more about this).

  18. Blueberry says:

    Oh, hugs, because there’s no denying this is a tough thing to work through, and the path is just being forged. For every gender non-conforming drag queen out there, there must be a thousand gender non-conforming lawyers, doctors, professors, etc. — you probably just hear less about them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly this! Take it one day at a time.

      The only thing I’d be worried about is being supportive. Look for a FB group in your area. If my small city has a support group for parents of gender non-conforming kids, I’m sure your area does too. That said, sometimes kids just want to wear skirts or bright colors because they are fun. Don’t assign more meaning that your kid gives it.

      There’s a book about a red crayon whose’s really blue that might be good.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Yes, being a drag queen is clearly not the only possible end-game here. Keep your lines of communication open with your child (and SO). Look for third-party support like a support group or counselor.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      Yep, will just chime in that two close friends of mine are trans. One is a college professor with a PhD who is obsessed with his cat, the other is a happily married family nurse practitioner. It’s making the transition that is the hardest, according to them. They are ordinary people who have unbelievably normal lives.

  19. It’s become apparent that my MIL is both class-ist and racist and apparently is losing or giving up her filter for comments, social media posts, etc. For those of you with similar relatives, how do you handle this with respect to your kids? Do you try to limit the relatives’ contact with your kids? Do you try to contextualize it? Do you try to make sure you’re around to supervise and confront, provide context, etc?

    • I look forward to hearing others recommendations. I’m white, as are my husband and son. My FIL is overtly racist but we seem him 2x a year, and he’s never alone with our son, so I’ve mostly just ignored it. (FIL is in his 80s and born and raised in Mississippi, and I don’t think I am going to change his mind). I generally just change the subject when he brings up something offensive; I know he sometimes does it to bait my husband. However, my son is now 5 and getting old enough to understand some of the coded language FIL uses., and we are about to visit him. My son is also noticing skin color–he keeps telling me how many people with brown skin there are on the bus when we are riding it, and then I forget to address this more in-depth with him in private–and I know I need to do a better job of explaining race and racism to him. Any resource recommendations would be appreciated!

    • I think I’d try setting some boundaries with her before cutting off contact entirely. “Matilda, we don’t talk about [whoever she’s insulting] like that in front of the children. Can you agree to do that?”

      The way my mom always handled it when my grandfather said something racist was to gently admonish him in the moment and then later take us aside and say that he was raised in a different time when people had different ideas about black people, but that we know better now, so it’s not okay for us to use language like that. It was gentle, clear, and age appropriate.

    • bluefield says:

      hooo boy. I have some relatives who recently voted for a politician who bragged about sexual assault, and I do not want them around my daughter. I basically don’t want her to know that these people exist. My position is, to say the least, very unpopular and even I recognize that it’s untenable in the long run (at minimum it’s isolating me from my relatives who voted for the sane person but don’t have the “burn this to the ground” mentality that I’ve developed).

      So no ideas, but plenty of sympathy and you’re not the only person in this boat.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My mom is the stereotypical entitled white suburban woman. She likes to point out other people being “tacky” (meaning lower class) or “sassy” (stepping beyond what she feels a person is entitled to request given their perceived socioeconomic status, which is tied to their race).

      When it comes up and my daughter is around, I make sure to calmly question my mom’s unspoken assumptions. Something like: “Huh, what action makes you say that, Mom? [listen] I wonder if you’d feel the same way if that person was [white/dressed in a suit/driving a BMW, etc].” Or: “I wonder if the [braided hairstyle/saggy jeans/hijab] influenced how you read that action?”

      Often she’s just expressing some gut feeling that she hasn’t thought about at all. When I ask her to verbalize her actual bias, she gets embarrassed and changes the subject. I like my kiddo to see people working through their biases; it’s uncomfortable, but it’s a productive discomfort. This wouldn’t work for me if she became combative or abusive when challenged (because I am a chicken). So no, I wouldn’t insulate your kiddo from a racist MIL; I’d take it as an opportunity to model behavior for your kiddo, and then digest it afterward.

      • bluefield says:

        I think there’s a big difference between someone like your mom (my mom and MIL are similar) who kind of says these thoughtless things that maybe they heard on TV or from a friend, but gets embarrassed when called out on it, and someone who is racist & proud. I know a few R&P’s, and they are not going to get uncomfortable when you call them out – they are going to get more racist & more proud. If you have a R&P you have to deal with, I think the strategy of setting clear guidelines (and following through on consequences) is the only way to go.

      • Thanks. This sounds sortof like my MIL. She’s not “racist and proud” in the way bluefield describes. She would deny she’s racist, in the “I have black friends” way (even though she doesn’t). But she’s the type to make subtle comments, use coded language, imply a neighborhood is bad because it’s not exclusively white, clutch her purse when walking past an African-American man, etc. She gets embarrassed when confronted, but she doesn’t examine or work through biases–she just acts innocent and pretends she doesn’t know what she meant or didn’t mean anything. Then it happens again later.

        MIL is also a snob. She’s proud of her DAR status and her formerly wealthy family (she’s not rich herself). She likes to brag about any time she’s been part of a social scene. (“We went to such-and-such restaurant, and I turned around, and guess who I saw there! . . . So then, guess who came up to the table . . .”) On our last vacation (which really will be our last vacation with her), she called some of the other people staying in the building “white trash” in front of Kiddo! (Never mind that we were staying there for free because we were borrowing a family member’s condo, and none of us could afford to pay to stay there.)

        Kiddo is only 2, and I have no idea how much he’s picked up on this yet. I’ll have to think about how to contextualize because, really, there’s no excuse for this woman! Also, DH says she wasn’t like this when he was growing up, and DH certainly hasn’t adopted the same attitudes.

        • My MIL is also a snob – race, education, socioeconomic status, you name it. At father’s day dinner yesterday she was explaining how people who don’t go to college are dumb (nevermind that my parents were the first generation to go to college and several of my aunts/uncles/cousins are not).

          I intend to take the approach my parents did with my racist grandparents – admonishing in the moment and explaining to the baby that we don’t use that kind of language/say those things anymore. Plus lots of trips to and time with my family (blue-collar background, not in Northern Virginia, very down to earth and not snobby at all). Plus lots of baby blue jeans and country music both because I love it and because it drives my MIL nuts.

    • Anonymous says:

      I want my kids to know their grandparents. My and DH’s take is that this is largely a generational, and to some extent a regional thing. So yes, we contextualize. “Grandpa grew up where most people looked like him, and lived in houses just like his, so he didn’t learn when he was little like you that people of all different shapes and colors can be good friends.” I also correct my dad in the moment, too, like: “we don’t use that word” or “I think it’s better to assume that everyone got their job on merit. If anything, that Hispanic woman had to work 2x as hard to get to the top because of the systemic prejudice against her.” or less macro things like “I’m proud of [son] for being really brave for trying X, he doesn’t need to prove anything by doing it twice” (when dad was saying son was a “scaredy-cat”)

      We live in a diverse community and point out that people look different, speak different languages, have families that are different from one mom and one dad, don’t have as much money, etc, but everyone is working hard and doing their best, but everyone can be a friend and we have to treat everyone with respect. Literally all of this is represented in each of my kids’ daycare classes, which is an easy jumping-off point. When the kids get older we’ll have to talk more specifically about white cis male privilege and racism, sexism, barriers to escaping poverty, etc, but that’s a little heavy for preschool.

      I’m always around when either grandfather is hanging out with the kids not because I want to police their commentary, but because they are not up to the task of dealing with preschoolers alone!

  20. Ashley says:

    Any recommendations for casual maternity clothes that are cute and appropriate for a 37-year-old who already has 3 kids? I gave away all my maternity clothes a couple years ago because I was DONE … but surprise — birth control fails. Now I’m starting over and nothing anywhere looks cute. All the shorts are super short, and most everything is just ugly. Either frumpy or billowy or too low cut or made out of hideous-looking fabric. Adding to the complication is that I can’t stand the over-the-belly shorts/pants. Any tips would be so welcome!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Can you live in empire waist maxi dresses this summer? That is probably what I would do.

    • bluefield says:

      Are you looking to spend money or be thrifty? If you’re in a spendy mood, I am always drooling after Hatch Collection.

    • shortperson says:

      gap, loft, hatch, rosie pope, target, isabella olivier, seraphine? most of these places all have onesies and short shorts but if you are willing to look through their stuff there’s plenty out there. including nice fabrics, if you are willing to shell out.

    • Blueberry says:

      Are you on a moms list in your area? You could see if anyone wants to unload a maternity clothes lot — that’s probably what I’d do if I needed to redo my whole maternity wardrobe for the last time.

    • I like Old Navy for maternity clothes (I am 30). I was finding 1-2 things every couple of weeks when their new arrivals would come in, but agree it can be hunt. My 1 pr of shorts are from Gap and short, but they have the side panels and are pretty comfy (and I wear a 3 inch inseam usually in shorts when not pregnant). Gap and Old Navy both have a lot of side/inset panel pants. I also roll down a non-maternity maxi skirt from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe under the bump and that works well for weekends too. I have found a few good dresses from Motherhood Maternity through Macy’s – Macy’s usually has the good sales and I can return to the store just down the street (as opposed to I have no clue where my nearest maternity store is).

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